By SGT Johanna LopezJune 19, 2009
As a young Soldier, had you ever promised yourself that your 1st or NEXT Reenlistment would be something spectacular; something no one in your unit had ever done' Only to find on that celebrated day, you were yet again, standing in front of your platoon or company, right hand raised, repeating that time honored oath as you and countless others Soldiers stood there, less excited than you had planned. One Soldier in the 311th Signal Command was bound and determined not to make this scenario her destiny. Sgt. Johanna Lopez, a 35F in the 311th Signal Command G2 shop, made a promise to herself; and kept it, all with a supporting cast including, 2 airplanes, the 311th Chaplain, 21 fellow Soldiers, and a few parachutes!
On Thursday, March 26th, 2009 Sgt. Lopez reenlisted for the first time in her military career, and boy did she take reenlisting to a new level. It was a day of many first not only for Sgt. Johanna Lopez, but the 311th Signal Command, and the Pacific Skydiving Adventures company. The largest military group ever to Tandem Skydive here in Hawaii, was Sgt. Lopez's reenlistment. After a 0900 hours rally on Dillingham Field, briefings were given, weights were calculated, and nerves were visible. The Soldiers were broken down into six manifests of anxious and excited, first-time skydivers.
The first plane to lift off included Sgt. Lopez, Chaplain Powers, and three Soldiers, from the G2 shop. The flight began a journey that will not soon be forgotten. 14,000 feet above the ground, the American Flag was displayed behind Sgt. Lopez, while Chaplain Powers administered the Oath of Reenlistment, all being captured by a member of the Pacific Skydiving Adventures Company. Once the Oath had been administered, the door opened, and Sgt. Lopez jumped, head first, into another 3 years of Army life. 120 miles per hour, with a 75 second long free fall, Sgt. Lopez hurled towards the ground all the while mugging for the video camera that caught every expression known to man. Finally the rip cord was pulled and, Sgt. Lopez was able to view the beauty of Hawaii in a way she had never done before, she floated with the clouds for four minutes before gently touching down once again at the airfield. After gathering up with her co-jumpers, Sgt. Lopez exclaimed "It was amazing", with a smile that said even more, she had kept a promise made to herself. One by one the remaining 16 members of the 311th Command floated on air, and then to the ground, the consensus was mutual amongst them...... "Amazing!"
Thanks to Sgt. Lopez and her desire to make her first reenlistment memorable, she created a lifetime of "first" memories for several members of the 311th Signal Command. Team building and Esprit de Corp, along with keeping one of America's greatest Soldiers in the force, it's all in a day's work for the 311th Signal Command.
There's only one way to get that high ... RE-UP!
What will You do'